WRESTLING 101: Jobbing – What’s the Point?

Heath Slater

Don’t get me wrong: wins or losses do matter – even in a staged event – when the outcome is a title belt. The same can be said about maintaining mystique of veteran and/or young upstart wrestlers, when a streak coincides with credibility and potential viewership.

Still, wins and losses and – most importantly ‘jobbing’ to maintain records – needs to go by the waist side. Even more so as it’s literally killing careers and promotions.

To explain, most wrestling fans…noting kids, aside…want to – at minimum- see their heroes perform feats of grandeur, and give their all while doing so. A solid, well fought match devoid of sophomoric cheating or potty humor will almost always produce a satisfied fan.

The problem is, creative and management are watching for different reasons. These individuals are literally investing significant resources in the success of wrestler, where babyface/heel  and win/losses are quick ways to provoke a dramatic fan reaction (for better or worse). Test tubes, if you well.

Jobbers are the means to this end, usually lower midcard wrestlers that maintain character recognition for a prior spotlight, thus possess  the credibility to quickly and efficiently lose to a current or proposed star while seemingly protecting the match outcome. Adam Rose, Heath Slater, Zach Ryder, are sorry jobbers who deserve better. CJ Parker and Justin Gabriel declared ‘no mas.’ Even tag team matches have paired jobbers often lacking a proper ring introduction.

The flaw in this logic is that the very concept of a jobber (in a 1-on-1 match) undermines both wrestlers’ credibility. It sends a defeatist message to the jobber and supporters s/he is no longer relevant, likewise puts training wheels on the winner where s/he can’t display a sophisticated repertoire. Both wrestlers suffer in merchandise and other income means. Thus, if there’s something strong style gets very right, it’s making an individual earn it.

WWE doesn’t record wins/losses on  their official web site for good reason: they’re absolutely useless bits of data. NXT house shows allow Baron Corbin to test his mettle against opponents, with diamonds in the rough emerging (Elias Sampson immediately comes to mind). NXT at Full Sail, however, brings 15 second squash matches. Bull Dempsey will annihilate on house shows, but get fat shamed on WWE Network. None of this makes sense.

Now, I understand no one wants to see two jobbers go at each for 15 minutes. I respect that. But WWE/NXT crowds, creative and management need to stop rewarding wins except for belts. Instead, through a former jobber with 1-2 up and comers in a fatal 3-way match. Let all wrestlers strengths/weaknesses  become apparent. This is how NXT tested Dana Brooke at house shows, also Ty Dillinger’s new ’10’ character.

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